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The General (1926)

Unrated  |   |  Action, Adventure, Comedy  |  24 February 1927 (France)
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 47,624 users  
Reviews: 229 user | 105 critic

When Union spies steal an engineer's beloved locomotive, he pursues it single-handedly and straight through enemy lines.

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Complete credited cast:
Glen Cavender ...
Jim Farley ...
Frederick Vroom ...
Charles Henry Smith ...
Annabelle's Father (as Charles Smith)
Frank Barnes ...
Joe Keaton ...
Union General
Mike Donlin ...
Union General
Tom Nawn ...
Union General


Johnnie loves his train ("The General") and Annabelle Lee. When the Civil War begins he is turned down for service because he's more valuable as an engineer. Annabelle thinks it's because he's a coward. Union spies capture The General with Annabelle on board. Johnnie must rescue both his loves. Written by Ed Stephan <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Love, Locomotives and Laughs See more »


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

24 February 1927 (France)  »

Also Known As:

General  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$750,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (1982) | (1962) | (2003 alternate) |

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Producer Joseph M. Schenck gave Buster Keaton $400,000 to make this film, so the production company moved with 18 freight cars of props and sets to Oregon. In the next two months the town of Marietta, Georgia, was built near the Oregon town of Cottage Grove. See more »


Johnnie's and Annabelle's clothes are dry, neat, and clean the morning after camping outside without shelter during the thunderstorm See more »


[first lines]
Annabelle's brother: Fort Sumter has been fired upon.
Mr. Lee: Then the war is here.
Annabelle's brother: Yes, dad, and I'm going to be one of the first to enlist.
See more »


Referenced in The Blacklist: Monarch Douglas Bank (No. 112) (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The Greatest Comedy Ever Made
20 November 2000 | by (Baltimore, Maryland) – See all my reviews

THE GENERAL represents the greatest achievement screen comedy ever accomplished. From the brilliant gag construction to the sheer excellence of the filmmaking technique, THE GENERAL is a hilarious and amazing journey into comedy. Written and directed by Buster Keaton and Clyde Bruckman, Keaton brings brilliant gags into the story. The film begins when Keaton is told he is of no use to the South as a soldier, but as a train engineer. However, his girlfriend refuses to talk to him until he is in uniform. After the war has started, the girl is kidnapped by some Union raiders on Keaton's train, and so begins the greatest (and funniest) chase ever filmed. For the next 75 minutes, the viewer is in Keaton's world. His gags, routines and amazing slapstick serve to make this the greatest screen comedy ever filmed.

-Matt, age 16

46 of 70 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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